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October 06, 2008

McCain threatened federal official over telescope and lied about it

John McCain threatened a U.S. forest supervisor's job in 1989 and lied about it, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

At the time, McCain adamantly denied threatening the official, but documents obtained by the Review-Journal cast doubt on the candidate's heated denial:

McCain had already shown a willingness to throw his weight around, according to some involved in the Mount Graham project.

At one point, he targeted Jim Abbott, a U.S. Forest Service supervisor he blamed for slowing progress on the observatory.


McCain was alleged at the time to have told Abbott that he would be "the shortest-tenured forest supervisor in the history of the Forest Service" if he didn't help the project move forward.

Federal law prohibits threats that obstruct or impede the work of federal employees.

McCain, when confronted with the allegation in the early 1990s, adamantly denied threatening Abbott and railed against anyone who accused him of misconduct. Abbott later backed McCain's story.

But Gibbons and other GAO investigators charged with examining the scientific fights over the project also reached conclusions about related personal clashes.

An internal GAO memo from 1990 obtained by the Review-Journal refers to McCain's "admitted threat" to the forest supervisor. The memo was designed to remain between the GAO and McCain's office. Its contents have never been made public before.

Ironically, the fight was over the construction of a giant optical telescope in McCain's home state of Arizona.

Ironically, McCain loves to bash earmarks, a more traditional strategy for facilitating pet projects in a legislator's district. He brags, falsely, that he has never asked for earmarks.

He has openly mocked federally funded science projects, including the $4 million the USGS has spent compiling genetic profiles on grizzly populations in Montana.

This episode shows the lengths McCain was willing to go to deliver the kind of federal spending that he would now deride as pork.

[HT: bmaz.]


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John McCain is against government spending.

Except for war spending, and the Wall Street bailout, and a bunch of other stuff from the 1980s to the present.

As if his screwy ideas on things like "policy" and "governing" aren't enough to disqualify him as being a rational choice, the guys complete lack of personal integrity means he should be ignored and shuffled to the side lines as quickly as possible.

McCain is proof one can lie, cheat, and steal yet never be blamed for any of it.

"John McCain is against government spending."

"Except for war spending, and the Wall Street bailout, and a bunch of other stuff from the 1980s to the present."

The mainstream of America has lately become acqainted with the concept of "corporate welfare"; maybe we should start talking about shitty-pilot welfare as well. Whether through recklessness or bad pilot skills- maybe a combination of the two- McCain crashed an incredible number of very expensive government-owned aircraft during his military career (as the current issue of Rolling Stone details) yet never, somehow, saw that career suffer. And while I don't know this for a fact, I'll bet he never offered to help pay us back, either.

I feel sort of sorry for the old dude. When he started he was a war hero, maverick who would stand up to anyone to do what was right for the nation. I liked him and was considering voting Republican (for him, not for Congress though).

Then he started opening his mouth. Suddenly, he seemed way too Bush-like. I understood... he needed the Repub base to support him, but I still didn't like it. It seemed 'unmaverick' to me... but I get that he needed the Repub dollars to run the campaign.

Then he talked even more. And got erratic and temperamental. Then he started sounding EXACTLY like Bush (and this was before I'd read that he had voted with the President 90% of the time).

Now, he just seems old and left behind while the world has gone and changed on him. He's bitchy. He's still erratic (seriously, his whole 'swoop in and "save" the W.S. rescue package... oops, actually getting in the way' thing... whut??). He's kind of scary... and he picks someone who is so OBVIOUSLY not ready for National Politics to be his running mate in an obvious and transparent attempt to get those peeved off Hillary voters? Nail In Coffin.

Not that I hadn't left him behind as a serious choice for my vote back around May or so, but honestly... the only ones I can see actually thinking he should be POTUS and she should be VPOTUS is the knee-jerk, brain-dead Republican zombie-voter.

And that's just sad. I liked my illusion of John McCain as a different kind of Republican.

I'm still sighing about the LHC being built outside the US. I remember Ronnie Raygun vetoing it here for budgetary reasons when it was proposed. Another Republican anti-science stance, long forgotten now. Bwah! It coulda been built here.

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